There’s nothing more refreshing than cooling down on a hot afternoon with an icy beverage. These days having ice is easier than ever. With society’s technological advances came the gift of ice makers that are easily installed into refrigerators. They are fast, convenient, and extremely cost effective.
To make the most out of your refrigerator's ice maker, it’s important to stay on top of its maintenance to achieve optimum performance. Here are a few tips and tricks that will help you make your refrigerator's ice maker last longer.
Choose the Best Model
Like with most things, all ice makers are not created equal. Some refrigerators may come with them built in but choosing the best ice maker will make maintenance easy and fast.
Skim Through the Manual
Read up on how your ice maker is maintained. Each model will have specific care instructions and a troubleshooting guide. Knowing how your ice maker works and how to maintain it will keep it running at its best.
Install A Filter
Most refrigerator ice makers use water lines to make ice and adding an inline water filter can improve the overall quality of your ice. It will enhance the taste of your ice and reduce contaminants. Charcoal filters are a popular and affordable option that can greatly improve your ice maker’s ice.
Many refrigerators with filters today have an indicator light to let you know when to change it. You can also schedule an auto shipment of a water filter every six months, so you don’t forget to change it.
Clean It Regularly
Dirt and bacteria build-up can be harmful to your health as well as your refrigerator's ice maker. It can slow down efficiency, cause damage to parts, and create a contamination problem. Regularly cleaning and sanitizing your ice maker should be a part of your monthly cleaning routine.
If your ice cubes are irregular in size, have an odor or taste bad, it’s a sign that there’s a dirt issue.
Turn It Off
Keeping an ice maker running all the time significantly decreases its life expectancy. If you don’t need the ice, turn it off. Most refrigerator ice makers run independently of your refrigerator's power settings and turning it off is as simple as pressing a button.
Some Common Problems and How to Fix Them
Remember to unplug the refrigerator and turn off the valve’s water supply before checking your system.
· A small water supply line runs from the refrigerator to the water filter, and if it gets blocked for any reason, such as a tight bracket or through a faulty water inlet valve, your ice maker will cease to function. You may notice a bulging of the water line before the valve, and you may need to contact a repairman.
· A clogged filter is a common problem. You may need to consult the manual and check for debris in the filter.
· Setting the thermostat too low forces the ice maker to work harder and it may wear out faster. Keep your refrigerator's temperature settings above the lowest temperature setting, and you can extend the life of your appliance.
· Accidentally activating a pause feature will stop the formation of ice. The pause feature has a control arm, which may have been inadvertently moved or even fallen off.
· The water line may become blocked because it is frozen. If this is the case, you can remedy it by gently using a hair dryer. Make sure you have unplugged the refrigerator and turned off the water supply before doing this, and keep the hair dryer above the water to avoid an electric shock. Sometimes a partial block will prevent the ice maker making enough ice.
Once the ice has thawed and you turn back on the power and water supply, you will hear the water running into the ice maker. If this doesn’t happen, or if the water is discolored you need a repairman.
· If you notice a leak, ensure the unit is level, and there are no constrictions in the water line. It is best to do this before the leak gets worse!
Don’t Ignore Anything
It’s easy to disregard a funny sound or smell. Never ignore an indicator like this that implies something is not quite right. It’s always best to solve any problems as soon as you notice them.
Ask an Expert
When in doubt, ask a professional who knows what they’re doing. Support lines are abundant, and service is usually 24/7. Any of your questions or concerns will be answered quickly.
With the proper care, a well-maintained ice machine will last for years. Follow these simple tips and tricks to help you prolong the life of your ice maker.